Last week it was Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE),a huge gathering for electronic music and its industry. With 450.000 visitors spread over 1.000 events at 200 locations, Amsterdam turned into a crazy place for five days and nights. One event was titled ADE #PlasticFreeParty. According to the organizers “the evening will be boasting a Green Innovators Showcase where the most ground-breaking plastic-alternative companies will demonstrate what the future of a #PlasticFreeParty can look like.” This sounded like the ideal opportunity for us to meet like-minded people. But was it?
DRINKS SOLD IN CANS
As Refill Ambassadors, we expected a genius tap system crowded with visitors refilling their cups. This wasn’t the case. There was a small dance floor. At the bar most drinks were sold in cans, including sparkling and still water. Okey it’s not plastic, but not very sustainable either, as it requires unnecessary production processes and transport. Wine was served in real wine glasses. For those who wished a water refill, the toilets were the place to go. A bit disappointing.
GOOD MUSIC, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE THEME?
The second room was the so called Green Innovators Showcase. There was one table with bowls and ashtrays by PuriFungi. Interesting stuff, as they are produced with cigarette butts and mycelium. From waste to products!
But apart from the fungi-table, 3 signposts and a screen with a QR code, we could not discover anything else that contributed to the #PlasticFreeParty theme. Other visitors did not seem to care. They told us to haven chosen this party because it was cheap, or because tickets were still available, unlike most other ADE events. Nevertheless, we had a nice evening with good music. We do hope the next year’s edition will have more innovations on showcase and a real #plasticfreeparty vibe.
MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR A PLASTICFREE PARTY
What kind of products or services would you like to have at a #PlasticFreeParty? Please leave your comments below.
Plastic recycling problems, an unpopular topic, yet something that needs to be addressed. Plastic waste may triple by 2060. Recycling is essential, but not easy. Even though nowadays many companies proudly present their recycled packaging, plastic recycling has many problems.In this blog we briefly explain you why plastic recycling is not the (best) solution. This is a complicated topic, which could be explained in multiple blogs/articles from different points of view. We tried to keep it short and simple.
Companies promoting their packaging made of recycled plastic
PLASTIC RECYCLING PROBLEMS
Poor working conditions. Most developed countries that are into plastic recycling do not do the job themselves. China used to be the main importing country of plastic waste, until the country announced an unprecedented ban on its import of most plastic waste. This resulted in a change in global plastic waste trade flow. Since then, most European countries transport plastic waste to Turkey, where it is recycled in factories. Unfortunately, many of these factories do not care about labour circumstances or environmental care.
In a recent Human Rights Watch report, it stated: “‘It’s as If They’re Poisoning Us’: The Health Impacts of Plastic Recycling in Turkey,” documents the consequences of the Turkish government’s ineffective response to the health and environmental impacts of plastic recycling on the right to health. Air pollutants and toxins emitted from recycling affect workers, including children, and people living near recycling facilities.
Image source: Getty images
Recycling stream is not clean. Non-recyclable materials being put in the recycling stream (such as liquids or plastic bags) that contaminate recyclable materials. A big part of recycled plastic is of inferior quality. The process of recycling is in fact often downcycling (read more).
Plastic recycling is neither economical, nor (very) sustainable. Recycled plastic sometimes costs more than new plastic because collecting, sorting, transporting, and reprocessing plastic waste is expensive. Even though recycling is better than landfill or incineration, but recycling in itself is not the most sustainable process. Lots of energy is needed for the process.
REFILL BEFORE RECYCLING
Recycling techniques must be improved and the chain should be beter inspected. But most of all we must reduce and discourage the consumption of plastics. Refilling is better than recycling! Check our post on The Zero Waste Hierarchy.